Get over it, get over it...
The thoughts of a fool’s kind of careless...

Opportunity, opportunity, this is your big opportunity...

I received all kinds of responses to my feeble attempts at poetry yesterday from people saying that it's hilarious to people feeling sorry for me for all the crap I endured on Thursday.

However, one response, that none of you saw (because it came in on e-mail), is one that I never in my wildest imagination would have expected to receive.


Sorry it's a little blurry. Hard to resize it without killing the clarity of the text. Here is the entire text of the e-mail (complete with corporate disclaimer... ooh boy!):

Dear Mr. Apgar,

This e-mail is being sent in response to the “Ode to Microsoft Windows” posted to your blog on Friday, March 31, 2006.

As a loyal user of Microsoft products (would my employer have it any other way?), I do take issue with your claims that Macintosh OS X is superior to our Windows operating system. And our pending launch of Windows Vista, should you give it the chance it so richly deserves, will be a testament to that claim.

But this is a discussion for another time as I am writing you for an entirely different purpose.

As part of the marketing and promotions staff for Microsoft, I am charged with finding new ways to promote our range of products, and, more specifically, Windows Vista. As you may or may not realize, Vista has taken a virtual beating in the World Wide Web due to the need of our corporation to push back the launch date until later this calendar year.

In order to quell this dissent, I am attempting to find bloggers who would be willing to test a Beta version of Vista. We are asking these bloggers to open up a new blog and begin writing about their experiences from the very beginning as they install the OS through to actual personalization of the user interface and regular daily use of the OS. We want people to see that its implementation will be seamless and even an improvement on how their computer currently operates.

Why am I asking you? While we could easily recruit from a large pool of the Windows faithful, I prefer to portray a more balanced viewpoint. Having a few skeptics amongst our blogger corps would bring about that balance. In the end, of course, we hope to make a loyal user out of you, as well. If we can make a believer out of even the most ardent Macintosh users, there is no reason why Vista would not be a good computing solution for anyone.

I realize that you are a Macintosh user and that you may not even own a Windows-based PC of your own on which you could install Vista. I doubt the Information Services department at your place of employment would allow such an installation on one of their machines, either. If it is the case that you do not own a Windows computer, please inform me and we will send you an IBM ThinkPad for use in this project. The laptop would be yours to hold on to for as long as you remain a blogger on this project. A per-word stipend will also be paid to you. We can discuss details at your earliest convenience.

We hope that our blog campaign is successful so that we can expand it to other product launches in the future. And we would like to see you take part in these, as well. This, of course, would be dependent on your experience with the Beta version of Vista.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Thomas Chamberlain
Assistant Manager of Marketing and Promotions
Windows Division
Microsoft Corporation

Cc: Peter Simmons, Marketing and Promotions; Jane Reyes, Product Development


This email and any attachments are confidential, may contain legally privileged information and are intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee and/or have received this email in error, please immediately notify me and delete it from your email system without disclosing its contents or that of any attachments to any third parties and without retaining any copies.

Part of me is morbidly curious and wants so badly to prove him wrong. The other part immediately screams "no way in hell, why would you want to work in cahoots with the Evil Empire!"

So, what should I do? You think I should look into this a bit more and see what it's all about? Finding an employee list on the Microsoft site is an exercise in futility so confirming whether or not he's for real may be entirely out of the question. The e-mail address seems legit, but spam has a way...

What would you do?

Hell, do you think blogging this negates their offer?